Born in 1913, Artist, Poet and all-round Designer; Piero Fornasetti, transformed the decorative arts scene in the 20th century. Revered for his masterful application of two-dimensional art to three-dimensional form, he adapted drawings to objects, furniture, interiors, fashion and books, deploying humour and poetry in the way he wrapped illustrations about the objects and spaces.
Fornasetti saw himself simply as a decorative artist, albeit one with a boundless imagination for the application of his art. Design collaborations were natural to him; he worked with architects and designers on interiors as varied as the Arlecchino cinema and the Andrea Doria Trans-Atlantic Liner. He passed away at the age of 75, leaving behind a catalogue of works numbering over 11,000 to his son, Barnaba, who preserved the Fornasetti tradition. With his business head and creative heart, Barnaba has successfully kept the family name alive. While remaining faithful to his father's vision, he shows skill in deft reinterpretation of his father's motifs, which he applies with precision and humour to existing objects in the portfolio and some he designed himself, providing a creative continuum to satisfy the company's many collectors. Barnaba has also pursed new collaborations and licenses, recently developing a collection with architect Nigel Coates. Other licenses include rugs, wallpapers, ceramic vases, and no, a home fragrance collection.
To capture the essence of Fornasetti, Barnaba turned to master perfumer Olivier Polge at the International Flavours and Fragrances (IFF). Together he and Barnaba explored the aromas of the Fornasetti home and its gardens, registering significant herbs and the woods of the interior and Fornasetti-designed objects. Thyme and lavender came to occupy the top tier of notes, orris and cedarwood the middle, and ethereal notes in the base, including insense, tolu balsam, and labdanum, were used to represent the dream-like dimension of Fornasetti's graphic poetry. The resulting scent, Otto, the eighth variation to be developed, is the olfactory portrait of a brand that is timeless, and that transcends gender and fashions.
The development of the ceramic containers that accommodate the fragrance in all its forms was handed to Ceramiche Dal Pra, a company based in Nove, Vicenze - the traditional heartland of the Italian ceramics industry. Dal Pra created simple elegant containers for Fornasetti, and Barnaba adapted a mix of classic and lesser-known motifs from the archives to the surfaces, with a requisite touch of whimsy.